Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Council Tax payments
How we are recovering arrears
During the first lockdown, we suspended issuing formal reminders, final notices and court summonses. During May and June 2020, we issued letters to households who were struggling to pay their council tax to offer assistance, guidance and advice.
In August 2020:
- we began to issue formal reminders to households who have council tax arrears. If you receive a reminder and need our help, advice or guidance it is very important that you contact us.
- if you were previously dealing with enforcement agents (bailiffs), they will be sending you a letter asking you to contact them within 30 days to discuss your arrears. They have highly trained teams who deal with a range of circumstances, including vulnerability and financial difficulties.
It is very important to respond to these letters. Enforcement agents will be acting strictly in line with government guidelines.
From 5 November 2020, visits from enforcement agents (bailiffs) did not take place for second 4-week lockdown.
From 5 January 2021 we have suspended enforcement agent (bailiff) visits. They will still contact with you by
- voice call
You should continue to pay any existing arrangements or contact the Enforcement Agents office if you are struggling. If you stop paying and they schedule a visit you will incur a fee of £235.00 and an additional 7.5% if the debt exceeds £1500.
Government hardship fund
The government has given us additional funding to award up to £150 to working age people who claim Council Tax Reduction.
If you're working age and claim Council Tax Reduction we'll reduce your bill by an extra £150 in 2020 to 2021.
If after discounts, exemptions and Council Tax Reduction you owe less than £150, we'll only award you the balance.
When we award your hardship payment, we'll send you a new bill with the coronavirus hardship payment clearly marked.
Find out about free debt advice.
Council Tax Reduction
If you’re having trouble paying your Council Tax and are on a low income you may be eligible the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
Alternative repayment scheme
We may also be able to offer you an alternative repayment scheme, to discuss this email us on email@example.com or phone 01634 332 222.
If you cannot pay, contact us as soon as possible or further action will be taken to recover what is owed.
To avoid further action set up a direct debit or pay online.
If you're struggling to pay your bills, you can also view our debt advice.
If you do not pay
You'll be sent a reminder letter
Once you have your reminder letter we'll give you 10 days to pay this and you’ll need to continue to pay the instalments shown on your bill.
If you do not pay the rest of your instalments
If you don’t pay the rest of your instalments, the plan will be cancelled, the full year’s Council Tax will be due and you’ll be sent a final notice.
If you pay what's due but fall behind again
If you fall behind again after paying what is due on the reminder we’ll send a second reminder notice.
If you fall behind a third time
If you fall behind your instalments a third time, your instalment plan will be cancelled, the full year’s Council Tax will be due and you’ll be sent a final notice.
You will then have 14 days to pay the balance shown to prevent the Magistrates Court issuing a court summons.